Posted by Ryan Wilson
The Steelers franchised linebacker LaMarr Woodely prior to the lockout. Friday morning he tweeted this: "Wanted u 2 hear it here 1st- drafted here... super bowl here.. will retire here!! time 2 get u #7!! @STEELERS 4 LIFE!!"
Translation: the Steelers signed Woodley to a six-year, $61.5 million deal. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the contract "includes a $22.5 million bonus and will significantly reduce his previous salary cap number. He was to be on the books for about $10 million in 2010 because of the franchise tag the Steelers applied to him. His new salary cap number could be about half of that."
And a source tells PFT that Woodley will make $18.1 million in 2011, and $27 million over two years making him the second highest-paid player in team history behind quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. (By comparison, James Harrison signed a six-year, $51.7 million contract in 2009.)
Since the lockout ended, Pittsburgh hasn't been as aggressive in free agency as their cross-state counterparts, Philadelphia, but they have been busy rejiggering their roster. They cut Max Starks, Antwaan Randle El and Flozell Adams, and re-signed cornerback Ike Taylor and now Woodley, two key cogs in the league's best defense a year ago.
A former 2007 second-round pick out of Michigan, Woodley has 39 sacks in his NFL career, including 10 in 2010. The Steelers first-round selection in 2007, inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons, is now on the short list of players next in line for a new deal.
One final thought on the Woodley news: Joe Flacco must be psyched.
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